He walked in a little scared. After a few rough days at school and even rougher days at home, we had talked to my son about going to see a few “feelings doctors.” He wasn’t opposed to it. In fact, he seemed excited to talk about his feelings to someone. We walked in the door to Brain Balance Center in Winter Garden and he saw his name written on a chalkboard to welcome him. He pointed and said “Dad, that’s my name!” A great first impression!
Brain Balance in Winter Garden was not our first stop. We visited a play therapist and a medical doctor…we gathered valuable information from both. The Brain Balance experience was different though. I had heard about Brain Balance Centers after interviewing their Founder, Dr. Robert Melillo, a few weeks back, and was intrigued. Their approach to working with children seemed genuine and welcoming. The focus is centered around helping develop different areas of the brain to create a balance among all areas. Most of the children that attend Brain Balance Centers could be on the autism spectrum or might have been diagnosed with ADHD, ADD or perhaps another type of sensory processing or social challenge. Regardless of what your child’s specific challenges are, I think all of us can benefit from Brain Balance.
The process starts with a paid Comprehensive Assessment. This process involved my son taking around two hours to work with a Sensory Motor Coach to take him through various evaluations. During the assessment, he had a blast, saying how much he loved “this place” every time he came out for a quick break. While he was playing, I filled out a very detailed questionnaire that dove into almost every aspect of my son’s life. Some of them were easy to answer and some of them required a bit of thought, but it was essential for me to complete the survey to give the most accurate snapshot possible of my son.
What Is The Setting Like At Brain Balance Center in Winter Garden?
Once I walked into the offices, I felt extremely welcomed and relaxed. Amanda, the Executive Director, was clearly an interior designer before she became the Executive Director, or at least that is how it appeared. The first person you see when you enter the location is Rachel. I would describe Rachel as a ball of energy mixed with the most extremely detailed organization you could imagine. She knew my name, my son’s name, and invited us to have a seat or play in the play area while we waited just a few minutes to get started.
After a few minutes, my son met Tara and was escorted back to have some fun and I had the chance to meet with the Center Director, Kennerly Brunson. During the meeting, I was able to introduce myself and tell her a little about the challenges we were facing with my son, in addition to hearing more about the process. We would have a follow-up meeting in the next few days to discuss the results of our assessment. The only staff member I didn’t engage with much while I was there was Ashley, but I can tell you that she looked me in the eyes, said hello and asked me how I was doing and if I needed anything a few times. Customer service like that is hard to come by!
What Happens After Your Brain Balance Assessment Is Complete?
A few days after our initial assessment, I met with Kennerly again to review the results. I was given a 20-page document that talked about my son’s successes and challenges. It was laid out clearly and understandably and was in line with what my thoughts were about my kiddo. Just like the company’s name, the results talk about the left and right brain “balance” and show the different skills/behaviors that might be prevalent depending on your child’s strengths and weaknesses.
I had a talk with a medical doctor friend of mine and reviewed the information that Brain Balance gave me. While my friend was not particularly in line with the whole left and right brain mentality and being able to strengthen one side vs the other side, they seemed to think that this type of process and the whole-family preparation and guidance is important. My thoughts after talking to an unbiased medical professional and the Brain Balance team is that this will be great for my son. We will continue to talk to a behavioral doctor and we will continue to talk to a play therapist and we will do everything that we can do at home to help our son. With the help of Brain Balance in Winter Garden, I am sure that this process will be great. I look forward to updating this post in a few months after some time has gone by! Stay tuned!
*Brain Balance has compensated Lean Green DAD to talk about their services. All opinions are my own and my family is participating in their program. For more details on what this means, please visit our disclosure page.